REWARD AT LAST FOR THE LEEDS FAITHFUL
WHEN Thomas Christiansen took over at Leeds this summer, he said he’d studied the team and knew exactly what was missing.
Judging on what I’ve seen this season and their rise to the Championship summit, the Dane’s analysis was spot on.
That’s no slight on Garry Monk, who did a great job last year. He instilled a defensive solidity that remains the foundation of the early success. Pontus Jansson, in particular, is terrific.
But they were rigid in their shape. The two central midfielders sat.
Only Pablo Hernandez had that little spark of something different. It all put a lot of pressure on Chris Wood, who scored more than 50 per cent of Leeds’ goals last term.
What Christiansen’s basically done is say ‘Right, we need to take the shackles off, get on the front foot and play more freely’.
And they have. Summer additions like Samuel Saiz and Ezgjan Alioski have made a huge difference. Now, the entire front three are fluid and creative.
You look at Kalvin Phillips nicking a goal the other day, which tells you the deeper midfielders are starting to break the lines.
In fact, my old side have already had ten different scorers – just two less than last season. That’s all about that ‘front foot’ attitude.
Can they keep it up? I hope so. Those fans have seen too many bad times over the years. In my years at Elland Road, there was too much change, too much turbulence. Now there’s stability and clarity and they’re reaping the rewards.
CREATIVE: Samuel Saiz